Temple U gets new Hillel building

    A new 7 million dollar building has been built at Temple University, designed to serve Jewish students on campus. The Hillel building is outfitted with kosher kitchens and broadband WiFi.

    A new $7 million dollar building has been built at Temple University, designed to serve Jewish students on campus. The Hillel building is outfitted with kosher kitchens and broadband Wi-Fi.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091112pchillel.mp3]

    The National Organization of Campus Jews – Hillel – has had a long presence at Temple, but for many years it was effectively unknown. Only when Temple began transforming itself into a residential college did Hillel activity increase.

    Recently, the Jewish Studies department began teaching courses in secular Judaism. Professor Elliot Ratzman says Temple has the only certified secular program.

    Ratzman: Most non-Jews don’t realize there is an entire civilization of Jewish politics and literature that has nothing to do with the religion. Zion was an anti-religious movement. Yiddish culture and politics was an anti-religious affair. Students are absolutely surprised to discover this.

    Temple is home to about 2,000 Jewish students, and last year about 600 people passed through Hillel’s door.

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